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Why the NCAA's sexual assault policy no longer punishes



In October, just after a Baylor sexual assault scandal shook the football coach, sports director, and president of the university, the NCAA called a commission to combat sexual violence on campus.

The Commission developed a policy focused on the training of athletes and coaches, and ensured that athletic departments followed school policies in dealing with allegations of sexual violence. The Commission's proposal was approved by the NCAA Board of Governors last year

Since then, Michigan State has been involved in a terrible scandal involving a former sports doctor, Larry Nassar, who was convicted of harassing dozens of women. Many Spartan athletes

NCAA leaders see the association as an agent of cultural change, trying to stem a problem that goes beyond athletics. Others want the NCAA to play a more active role and set rules that prevent individual perpetrators from attending college athletics competitions and sanctioning schools that do not screen potential predators. That is very unlikely.

"This is a systemic problem in society and certainly on campus, whether it's student athletes or not," said NCAA President Mark Emmert on Thursday at Alamodome, the venue of the Final Four on Saturday. "In this regard, the NCAA and the Board of Governors have been more dedicated than any other higher education institution, and indeed we are giving the rest of higher ed the lead in trying to figure out how to deal with these issues in advance and prevent them from doing so. rather than just coming in after the fact and then imposing some kind of punishment or solution. "

Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor and activist who speaks to college sports teams across the country, is part of the NCAA's commission on sexual assault Attacks on campus. Tracy was encouraged by the adoption of the Commission's recommendations by the NCAA Board of Governors in August. But she is pushing for an NCAA ban on athletes who commit sexual violence.

"I do not feel anyone should be excluded from their education," Tracy said. "But I think doing sports is absolutely a privilege and not a right, it's a privilege to be an NCAA athlete, to be a scholarship athlete."

Tracy said they are more influential on the campus because of the reputation that goes with an athlete in high-profile sports such as football and basketball.

"And so we have a duty and a responsibility to ensure that we have conversations that influence attitudes and beliefs and how we view these issues properly," she said. Basically, if you run fast enough and throw a ball and earn enough money for a school or sports program, then you can do whatever you want. You can break a woman's face and pound her. You can rape her. You can do what you want as long as you are a good athlete. And that is wrong.

"And so I talk to them about it, you know, what about the eligibility, behavior, you attach it to grades, why can not we say sexual assault is not OK, domestic violence is not in Order. "

For the NCAA, entry into the field of individual accountability is a complicated territory.

"You quickly realize there are other entities that blame individuals for criminal liability or even violations of Title IX on certain campuses when investigations are completed," said NCAA Chief Justice Don Remy As we look at this, we have looked at our role as a composite of all higher education, and how can we be part of college colleges in college athletics to change culture, and how can we ensure that student-athletes are treated the same way? like students on campus who do not compete in athletics ̵

1; not to create a preferential treatment for student-athletes or to create a negative environment for student-athletes, but to keep student-athletes through their time on campus matriculate like other students who do not compete in athletics. "[196592002] Kathy Redmo nd, founder of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, said at the heart of the problem, athletes would often face preferential treatment and protection through sports programs, boosters, and even local enforcement if they are accused of crimes such as sexual assault and domestic violence. "Redmond called the policy of sexual violence adopted by the NCAA last year as a" check-the-box "measure.

" But when it comes down to it, individual players know the system will work for them " she said

Redmond said the NCAA should use a proposal from the Drake Group, a college sports monitoring organization, to direct guidelines on sexual violence for athletes.

Tracy would like to adopt a policy that would allow the NCAA Similar to last year's Indiana University, which prohibits its teams from hosting athletes with a documented history of sexual or domestic violence, IU's policies were inspired by a similar concept implemented by the Southeastern Conference on transfers [19659002] Although Indian sports director Fred Glass said: "We did not implement it to be a trailblazer or people to this policy u. "

Laws vary from state to state, to definitions of sexual assault. One size fits all NCAA policies that prohibit athletes with past violations would be difficult to produce and potentially vulnerable to legal challenges.

"What is this life sentence?" said Cleveland-based attorney Susan Stone, representing Ma'ik Richmond, the football player of the Youngstown state, convicted of rape in juvenile court. Campus's backlash led Youngstown State to ban Richmond from playing last season. He sued the school, which had no policies like Indiana. The school settled down and lifted the ban.

"Something has to be thought about before excluding the students," Stone said.

Tracy said she does not just want to punish the culprit.

"We are not fair failing survivors, but we also fail these young men," she said. "Especially with our athletes, we put a lot of emphasis on them at a young age, and the way we defeat them by protecting them above all else we do not help them do all the things we do with our athletes. " 19659024]
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